Why don't we all give up!...
...We can't change anything anyway...
Since the dawn of time, a lot of babies have been thrown out
with a lot of bath water. The subject of end times, whilst being exciting for
those of us who see ourselves as 'Pilgrims passing through' is also the
breeding ground for kooky and weird interpretations, personal manipulations and
some really drawn-out boring conversations.
Even the now-ancient term THE END TIMES has begun to reek
with a defeatist, 'it's all over' attitude -– I vote that an emu be
instated as our emblem, signifying our response to it all. Solomon said "there's
nothing new under the sun" and boy was he right. The last time Jesus came here
some of the people who were meant to be representing God had a similar outlook.
Very generally the Pharisees, who performed a very important
and legitimate role in keeping the Holy Scriptures pure and free from deviations
and humanism, got so caught up in it all that they missed 'the Word made flesh'
standing amongst them. They insisted that they were people of the Word.
The Sadducees were more liberal, open to Greek philosophy and
yet were probably more judgemental. The Hebrews always revered the dignity of a
person's life -– and therefore the death penalty was a very serious matter.
It was the Sadducees who had Stephen put to death; the letter of the law was
all-important to them -– this proved they were people of the Word.
The Essenes, the group most like many of our
holiness-focussed Church groups today, upon discovering that 'there was evil
out there in the world' did the obvious thing -– THEY GAVE UP and hid away.
They moved out of the centres (mainstream life) into the desert, and set up
their exclusive camp where they could remain spotless for the Messiahs return.
They were well-meaning people of the Word.
And now there is 'US'.
Each of us has our own way of dealing with life's
challenges. With the 'looming finale' in sight, we should at least know our
general 'statement of purpose'. What do we do NOW with what we know?
How do we live?
How good it is to fellowship with Christian believers who
confess they don't know exactly how the future is going to pan out (outside of
a healthy respect for the 2nd law of thermodynamics -– entropy,
decay; and the glorious hope of Jesus return), but are 'watching' and are
still getting on with the job of being lights for Jesus in a 'hope -–less'
world situation. Not hiding from the world waiting for the full-time
whistle, and equally not so absorbed in the world that their Pilgrim status is
"But I might stand out from the crowd and be different!"
Indeed. It is the unique choices each of us make which define
us one from another. This is a good and right thing -– and it is also the area
we are most often judged. 'I wouldn't have done that like that...' That
may be true -– but maybe you wouldn't have done anything at all! It's far
easier sitting in the grandstand shouting 'crucify' with all the other
faceless people, than standing up and stepping into the arena where we will be
seen -– making decisions, taking initiative and getting about our Fathers
Maybe we believers could look at the possibility of
supporting another's endeavours. In Acts 5:34-40 Rabbi Gamaliel, a Pharisee
gave some useful advise to his fellows and possibly saved Peter and some of the
other Apostles lives. Paraphrase: "Careful guys, if this is an ego trip it
will come to nought...if it's God, we don't want to fight against Him do we?"
It can be a difficult balance -– but people are the centre
of God's plan and He delights when His children get together in unity.
I read a story about a man with one eye who was pulled over
by a traffic officer for speeding. "What do you want me to watch officer. The
speedo or the road". Yes, we all share the limitations of being human.
Today we can and should be, confident and enjoying life.
Whatever our world view or doctrinal outlook LIFE GOES ON TODAY, and there is
incredible security in Christ Jesus.
'Abundant life' was declared to us by the Author and
finisher of our faith. This abundant life will continue forever and ever. Give
up? Defeatist? Never!